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The Zen Of Better Business Blogging



In this article I provide several proven steps to success in business blogging. The benefits of success include an increased number of supporters (not just followers), increased web traffic, sales leads which are more likely to convert to paying customers (because they already know your content) and a reduced cost of customer support. What’s not to like?

In the beginning it can be difficult to find content that engages your target customers. It is also a challenge to generate regular, fresh and compelling content. Look again at all the benefits referred to above. They are very compelling. With foresight and planning you will build your online engagement, extend your addressable market and significantly strengthen your ability to build a loyal customer base.

business blogging

Here is what you need to do: 

Invest in success

Do not fret about the technology – it is out there and well proven so no need to get distracted. Use word press, get a hosted site and make use of a responsive theme (one which displays correctly on a range of different devices). It is not expensive to outsource or set up a beautiful themed site which has all the social bells and buttons – just add a domain name and email addresses. Adding and editing content and graphics is point and click, even when out on the road. That piece is fast and easy.

What is critical is getting your unique perspective developed in a compelling fashion. By all means engage with a mentor, hire a copywriter, just have someone who you can bounce ideas off and that will help hold you accountable.

Persist 

Develop the following habits. These are the small yet vital things that will bring you success faster:

  • Bring your personal perspective to the topic at hand, how you deal with it, what market experience you bring.
  • Be generous, share your expertise willingly. Demonstrate excellence.
  • Be open and avoid jargon at all costs. If you cannot explain your point in regular English then you may not be as good as you thought you were. Highly technical niches are an exception of course.
  • Do your research and avoid a superficial treatment of your topic.
  • Collect ideas – they are everywhere. Add an email filter so that any message with #blog in the subject goes to a separate folder – then mail yourself with that subject anytime you see something interesting. Read the results once a week over a coffee and writing pad.
  • Take a breath before you publish – it can be intoxicating when things start happening but don’t just do something – sit there. Go for a walk then come back to review your masterpiece with a calm demeanour.
  • If it helps then feel free to pin these notes to the wall – use them as a pre-flight checklist

 Practise constantly

  • Summarise the most important points first. Be brief.
  • Be specific and get to the point.
  • Learn to write for the web. Use shorter sentences and ‘bite size’ points. Resist the urge to include lots of links. Do not talk down or trivialise – Keep the meat just remove the fat.
  • Develop your elevator pitch. No one ever bought anything in an elevator (Seth Godin), however you do need to set the scene and be good at intriguing your audience – to demonstrate your expertise and get them listening.
  • Get used to bouncing ideas and topics with people. It helps with material and also with building your engagement skills. People really appreciate being asked to help.
  • Ideas are everywhere so develop a go-list of headlines, sources of new information, inspring articles. Find a hero. Understand what they do and how they do it. Emulate. Practise. Refine. Repeat.
  • Reuse and recycle. It is perfectly acceptable to re-use the information you provide via several channels such as linkedIn and Google+ .
  • Twitter can be really useful once you develop a skill for compelling and snappy headlines that take exactly 140 characters #Goodluckwiththat
  • Include the group – be sure to engage with everyone in your organisation or department. Ensure that you get a wide perspective and buy-in. Their perspective can be vital and it is always good to share the load.

Spread the word. When you find something useful then pass it around. Comment. Engage. Social is a habit so build it daily.

Get in the habit of helping others succeed and your efforts will be rewarded many times over.

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The Author:

I help people develop new business, strengthen their sales pipeline and build a strong online presence. I have over 20 years’ experience in IT and mobile technology at both start-up and large corporate organisations, with a strong record in team leadership, sales achievement, technology development and marketing. http://www.freerangestartup.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.callprobest.com/ Keith V. Birkemeyer

    Terrific information, I carry a camera with me (easy to do with phones these days) and snap a picture which will lead me into a Pest Control blog article. It is absolutely essential to continually add rich content and ask for input. Check out my pest and pest control blog at http:///www.callprobest.com/blog and thanks for the useful info. I also try to push everything I write into FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • http://www.bloggertone.com Niall Devitt

    Hi Ben, I really like “Social is a habit so build it daily”, these are some great tips and thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/bengii bengii

    Thanks Niall – it was a tough at first to get out there and engage, but the benefits are considerable and it is now (almost) second nature.

  • http://twitter.com/bengii bengii

    Thanks Keith. Great site – I see you already have subscribe and feedburner info so you are well on the way. I had the same yet I was getting nowhere, so I highlighted them using a plugin and now I am starting to highlight the benefits to users of signing up. It is early days but feedback from users has been very positive. I love your phrase ‘no pestpassing’ :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/elish.bulgodley Elish Bul-Godley

    love it – snappy , handy and to the point – thanks! Why did you use the word Zen in your title though?

  • http://www.thesmarttrain.com/ Elaine Rogers

    Great post Ben,

    You followed all your own advice – well done!

    I enjoyed – Emulate. Practise. Refine. Repeat. – it is so tempting to fall into the imitate hole when we find great blogs and ideas – challenge is to stay true to our own personalities when researching and writing – I read a tip a few days ago about rehashing older (and still relevant) blog posts – what’s your thinking on that?

  • http://twitter.com/bengii bengii

    Thanks Elish! Zen teaches ‘effortless effort’ which is all about striving to master a topic, always improving, cutting out waste and working to bring about a great result with nothing extra added – get to the point and leave ego at home

  • http://twitter.com/bengii bengii

    Hi Elaine – Thanks! Consider bringing a new perspective to an old problem, by all means – perhaps using a different format rather than just a straightforward re-hash of a post. The way users consume information is constantly changing so consider translating to video, or incorporating in a wider series via an eBook or Howto Guide. Also, be sure to use the ‘most read’ plug-in to keep relevant posts on the landing page. If it ain’t broke………

  • http://www.facebook.com/elish.bulgodley Elish Bul-Godley

    nice to see a fellow Zen enthusiast – am working on a Zen blog soon

  • http://twitter.com/bengii bengii

    Aha! keep me posted!

  • http://www.thesmarttrain.com/ Elaine Rogers

    Hi Ben,
    Thank you for the tips – very useful. I have been considering audio versions of blog posts, using Audioboo plugin. Video is on the cards too :)
    I will check out that plugin you suggested, thank you!

  • ben mccahill

    thanks Jayden – consistently good content is vital, and if that simply means you post once a week or so then that is OK – quality not quantity! Then engagement – folks need to feel acknowledged and appreciated so make sure your channel allows you to regularly pick up comments

  • Tom Holmes

    Thanks Warren – glad you liked the post. My aim was to clear up some of the recent misconceptions about the corporate tax system here in Ireland and hopefully will encourage some consideration of Ireland as a country to set up a business in. Many thanks Tom